Philly's having a moment; vegan food is having a moment. Put them together and boom, momentum!

With constantly increasing vegan offerings among mainstream eateries and developments such as Vedge named by Zagat Philly as #1 'Best Food,' I'm seeing our town as a vegan destination in the making - and it's not just my vegan-colored glasses.

A new page at, headlined "Veg Out: Many Philly-Area Eateries Make Vegans, Vegetarians & Gluten-Free Diners Feel Right At Home" promises that "Veg-loving visitors to Philly have plenty of options from which to choose" and then delivers, with scores of pithy descriptions accompanied by full info to match the veg-oriented with their soon-to-be-favorite Philly venue.

Meryl Levitz, President and CEO of Visit Philadelphia, explained in a phone conversation that plant-based options' appeal crosses multiple demographics: "It combines many interests of people who are visiting and who are moving to Philadelphia - especially baby boomers and millennials - in things such as farm-to-table and local eating," she noted, along with those omitting ingredients like animal products for religious reasons.

The millennials factor could be crucial - restaurant trade mag QSR cited a survey conducted by 210 Analytics showing that "Millennials are increasingly interested in vegan cuisine, and more than 60 percent consume meat alternatives," as well as one expert's stat that "one in ten Millennials do consider themselves vegan."

Another article notes that "increased interest in food from mission-based companies" and "millennial values" are fueling vegan interest, as "many vegan food manufacturers' values appeal to consumers, who increasingly are questioning companies' motives, pushing for higher-order benefits and demanding social good."

This dovetails perfectly with the animal-free ethic that drives the creators of vegan standouts such as Vedge, Blackbird, Grindcore House and Miss Rachel's Pantry, and it's no surprise that Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby loom large as the main photo on the directory's press release, prepping food at the Vedge bar.

Beneath, the descriptions range from straightforward to mouth-watering: "New Hope's premier vegan dining destination, Sprig & Vine is a bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot that offers a Sunday brunch menu (think warm cinnamon sugar doughnuts, PB& J French toast and fried oyster mushrooms over biscuits with cashew-herb gravy), along with an elegant dinner menu featuring delicacies such as cornmeal-crusted tempeh served over three potato mash." OK, maybe your mouth doesn't water at the phrase "three potato mash," but then, maybe you haven't had Ross Olchvary's.

Levitz noted that "being able to eat veg is not just easy but rewarding," and contrasted vegan eating with quickie fads, saying "this is a true trend." One indication is "how daunting the lines are at HipCityVeg, or even the Honeygrow that just opened - lines out the door" in both cases.

The page plays to the trend with various categories of eatery - and drinkery. The "Bar Scene" section is pretty thorough, citing Cantina Los Caballitos, Cantina Dos Segundos, Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen, Charlie was a sinner., Memphis Taproom, Khyber Pass and V Street, but come on: No Abbaye? The very site of the Vegan Wing Bowl?

Also Royal Tavern, the 2015 Vegan Cheesesteak Contest winner, and other bars like South Philly Tap Room probably merited a vegan-friendly shout-out. But the fact that we can increasingly call up a laundry list of vegan-friendly Philly bars, not all of which can we even fit in a roundup, is worth noting - and celebrating.

While I'm still holding my breath for a "Love, Philadelphia" billboard, Levitz indicates the tourism bureau is tiptoeing that direction with "Good fresh food" mentioned in paid ads that are placed in national magazines like Travel and Leisure, and Bon Apetit, and with social-media player uwishunu touting vegan events here and there while selling Philly as "a great food destination."

All in all the page not only shows Philly's justifiable pride in our vibrant plant-based dining culture, but can also serve as a welcome, and welcoming, guide for local looking for good plant-based meals - after all, every time we visit a new restaurant, we're "visitors" too, right?